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culture

The Coffee Mill to Close After More Than 50 Years in Business

The Yorkville staple has struggled to attract new customers since TIFF left the neighbourhood.

Lothian Mews, the original location of The Coffee Mill  Photo by mcwidi 2 from the Torontoist Flickr pool

Lothian Mews, the original location of The Coffee Mill. Photo by mcwidi_2 from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

The last vestige of Yorkville’s bohemian coffeehouse culture will soon disappear—The Coffee Mill cafe and eatery is set to close after more than 50 years in business.

Established in 1963 by Hungarian immigrant Martha von Heczey, the cafe has long been a popular spot to grab a latte or enjoy a plate of goulash. It moved to its current location on Yorkville Avenue after spending a decade at Lothian Mews, a courtyard that has since disappeared.

With its welcoming atmosphere and secluded patio—one of few in Toronto at the time—The Coffee Mill was a haunt of writers and musicians during Yorkville’s 1960s hippie heyday; later on, it became a favourite hangout for TIFF festival-goers. But since TIFF moved downtown a few years ago, the cafe has struggled to draw new customers. “Not many people come anymore,” employee Mashi Kerenyi told the Toronto Star. “They go to Queen West, King West or the Distillery District.”

The simple, cozy eatery has also struggled to keep up with the glossier independent cafes and upscale chain coffee shops that dominate the now-affluent neighbourhood. It will close its doors for good on September 7.

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